Traveling Post-Pandemic: What You Won't See in Hotels Anymore
Welcome back, Star Travelers!
As the world adjusts to pandemic life, it's time to get back to normal. While this normal may look a bit different than we're used to, that doesn't mean it's all bad! After all, if it means getting back to traveling the world, it's not bad at all! As we navigate the changes, it's increasingly important for us travel agents to be up-to-date on ever-changing policies and restrictions.
Today's blog will be recapping the contents of an article (available here) that focuses on one of these adjustments. Of course, there are many more to keep an eye on, but this is one of the most important to bring travelers' attention to, especially those unused to recent tech changes! Without further ado, here are:
Eight Things You Won't See in Hotels Any Time Soon
1. Front Desk Check-ins
To limit contact during the height of the pandemic, many hotels offered contactless mobile check-in through visitors' smartphones. This service has stuck, and you can now find this option at 3,200 Marriott locations, as well as at some IHG and Hyatt locations. The convenience makes this option still appealing to many guests. However, in-person check-in is still offered for those who prefer it at the front desk. If the mobile option does interest you, consider checking your hotel's website to see what is offered.
2. Key Cards
Plastic key cards are quickly becoming a thing of the past at many hotel properties. Now, you can access your room with your own smartphone. This new option can be found in place at locations like Disney, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and more. The idea is the guest will download the hotel's app right to their phone. From there, they are able to do a number of things, starting with unlocking their door, of course! Travelers are also able to check-in or out, order room service, and more. This option has revolutionized a contactless travel experience, for both those looking to distance as well as for more introverted guests.
3. Stocked Mini Bars
This has been a change in the works for a while, even before the pandemic hit. They were liabilities for loss of profit as well as ripe targets for guest disputes when it came time to pay the bill. Now, with the pandemic to consider, items that are not cleaned in between guest visits make travelers wary. Before long, this amenity will have vanished completely or will have been reimagined to include only items that may be cleaned between guests.
4. Automatic Housekeeping
Being on top of sanitation is always a top priority for hotels, even more so now.
However, what's also important is limiting contact. Some hotels now wait for guest approval to request a daily cleaning service before showing up. Though not every hotel has adopted this stance, consider its possibility the next time you travel. Even if it's not automatic, however, housekeeping will of course always be an option. Just be sure to make your request!
5. Mini Toiletries
Like minibars, this is another classic hotel accessory that has been slowly phasing out. Instead, hotels had been interested in implementing refillable bath products in order to cut down on single-use plastics. With the pandemic's emergence, these refillable alternatives had been paused in order to return to the disposable, mini options. However, now that things are slowly returning to a pre-pandemic way of life, these little toiletries are disappearing again. If you're traveling anytime soon in the near future, be sure to stock up on everyone's favorite mini soaps and shampoos!
6. No-Pet Policies
Finally, a welcome, paws-itive change! Adriaan Radder of Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island says, "Following a record amount of families adopting a pet last year, hotels are now seeing more and more furry family members checking in." She also notes that many bars and restaurants are offering "yappy" hours to accommodate our furriest friends. This will almost certainly not extend to every hotel, but it's a welcome change to see for those travelers unwilling to drop off their best friend at a doggy hotel.
7. Printed Notices
Those printed slips being slid under the door are soon to be a thing of the past. Following the trend of considering environmental consciousness, these printed notices are considered a waste of paper and labor. Rather, bills and other information will be sent to guests' emails. This option limits object contact, as well, certainly a pandemic factor to be considered as a partial reason for this change. This is welcome news to many travelers, who don't typically look forward to waking up to a bill.
8. Printed Menus and Information
Along with this paperless trend, many printed resources will no longer be found in hotel rooms. This includes room service menus, printed information, and more. These have been replaced with QR codes instead. This complies with hotels looking to be eco-friendly as well as contact-conscious.
Thanks for checking in to this week's blog! As always, keep checking in to stay up to date on what's new in travel, including what's new in pandemic travel news.
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Until next time, toodles!